Saturday, September 3, 2011

Crossing Roads

The weatherman did not point out an hour ago that it would be raining.
It is raining though.

   In both houses, everybody is asleep except for them; she in the east of the very big neighborhood, he in the west of it.
   In her room, she is sitting by the window. As the raindrops hit the windowpanes, she finds herself lying between alertness and sleep yet not completely surrendering to either. She is thinking still; her thoughts are lost in an impression of dreams. It does not bug her; at least now, she can lose sense of reality while being wide awake.
   In his room, he lies on bed. In an attempt to find sleep, he keeps on counting from one to ten over again. And yet, that too fails; every single number of these has a significance that opens a whole new line of thought. He observes ironically how sleep shifted from being a relief to being a burden and decides to cast it all aside giving up to that desire in him to stay awake.
   And so, both forget about having to rise in the early morning, forget about the morning itself and live in the night. But whether they like it or not, the morning has to come.
  When the alarm goes on, she is found to be still sitting by the window in almost the same position with the same expression. Her eyes are wide open and her mind has long ago been lost; in what exactly, she will not be able to tell. And so, it scares her a little when that pesky sound interrupts her state of blankness. She leaves that chair tiredly to get dressed and start a repeated old new day.
  When his mother enters to wake him up, she finds him pacing the room and thinks he has woken up earlier today; what she does not know is that he hasn’t had one moment of sleep. He halts his motion pondering on the dreaded fact of having to leave home for yet another day. A thought of breaking the order of things roams his head but leaves quickly being rendered as only a stupidity. And so another repeated old new day begins for him.
  In the street, as the sun hurts her eyes a wave of hate towards her inability to close them overtakes her. She does not regret last night though; she can regret everything but last night. She finds an ineffable effort in merely walking, and yet, she walks. Does she have another option?
   In another street, his feet present him with no trouble in maintaining his motion; it is that feeling of abhorrence in him towards everything that does. He can find no reason at all for going to his destination, none still to his life, but in both cases, something greater pushes him to unwillingly go on. He has no other option.
   She takes another route. She doesn’t know why but she just does it. Perhaps it is only because she feels a desire in her for things to be more in her control; perhaps it is not. She does not care, not any longer, not at all. Her body though revolts on her instantaneous freedom and makes her almost swoon. She doesn’t fall to the ground; he catches her.
     As their faces meet, they find familiarity but not recognition. Familiarity is there not because they saw each other before; it is something beyond it. They could not have met before.  And yet, could they be soul mates, potential friends, or even enemies? Neither had a say in his future but both felt it was too far away, too unrealistic stop happen. But could it be, could it be in a parallel dimension? Their minds wandered to a different world where their souls were not split by an entire neighborhood having tens of buildings, a couple of hundred flats and a thousand rooms which contain a million corners having innumerable insomniac minds. Could that be? Maybe it could, only in a distant past, away from a present where everything loses its main property to become a cell, just a cell. But alas! They live in that present, and in that present, everybody is destined to live in alienation. They are not bigger than an ugly life to beautify it; they are not brainwashed like most of the others to think it is beautiful, and so they lie in infinite agony feeling that something is missing but not quite knowing what is it.
  They have to divert.
   Before this, he breaks the norm of social traditions and asks her, “Will we ever meet again?”
   At first, his question takes her by surprise; but then, she admires the frank boldness in it. “Perhaps we’ll cross roads,” she replies. 

Friday, September 2, 2011


This is an HBBC post. For other takes on self-love visit this

In life, absolution is nonexistent. We get to determine the state of things by subjecting them to a chain of comparisons of which we can deduce what the best in that chain and the worst also in that chain; outside it, there lies nothing, just nothing. So, for instance, when you say that a certain person has a beautiful face, it is because your mind has automatically made a comparison between that person’s face and other faces, and found that among those faces he has the best. It is owing to the fact that beauty does not exist in an absolute state for you to measure things on it, you just compare. Whether you do it consciously or unconsciously, we always determine our position in life in relation to others.
    It is needless to say that we always have an incessant desire to be the best. This desire is reflected in how our comparisons are always in our favor as we all tend to magnify the wrong-doings of others to make us feel better; this also why any wrong-doing of any person is always an enjoyable subject for people to tackle. This, I guess, can be noticed every time you open a newspaper and find an entire page dedicated to telling, in details, the scandals of a celebrity whose personal life cannot be of any importance to anyone. If you are asking why all of this happens, the answer will be self-love. Because if you cannot be the best, it will do you no harm to belittle others.
    You are yourself; the statement may sound ridiculous, but it is as simple as that…you are yourself. And since you cannot possibly separate yourself from you, the self remains as an obligatory companion throughout your life experience. Such a companion that won’t go away will always need to be patted and told how amazing he is. Yes, we are talking about you, you always need to be patted and told how amazing you are. This too is pretty simple, but you may never underestimate it. Discrimination, all kinds of discrimination, stems from that. If you cannot see the connection, try to perceive things backwardly. We have that street sinking lowly in poverty. Most of the inhabitants of that street are Muslims and there is a minority of Christians. They are looking angrily at how humans quite like themselves are treated in a very different way. They lose their self-respect as they realize how they are in the bottom of the social ladder. They are getting closer to hating their own selves. If they hate themselves there will be no survival for them. Quickly, what do they do? Well, it is clear that their situation in life cannot be better any time soon. There might be nobody poorer than they are, but who said it’s all about money? Here, the Muslim majority will automatically look down on the Christian minority using the ugly excuse of “God said so”, and if they can look down on them, it defiantly means they are better. Because they couldn’t feel “amazing” when comparing themselves to others, they had to lower one group of them so that they would be better than some people at something. There are lots of these streets in Egypt, and others all over the world and throughout history having injustice as a constant and reasons as variables.
   This is not it. Self-love is literally everything. We love our football team, our family, our neighborhood and every other thing that is ours, simply because it’s ours. We always say that it is us who belong to these things but it is actually these things that belong to us; they, as us, need to always be the best. Why? Because they are extensions of ourselves. And so, even patriotism can be considered a form of self-love. Need I say more?