Thursday, August 26, 2004

Ocean Color Scene

Ok, that's the name of a band.

I don't know why I'm so depressed tonight. I think I'd gotten over the shocks of the past week and a half. It's not that I'm thinking about whatever's happened until now but I am under so much pressure. I can't think straight. When I look at someone or something I get jealous. It's just totally unlike me. I start comparing myself. Oh, how I hate this. I'm going through the throes of self pity and how I hate it.

I was just thinking about the ocean and the sea. Even the thoughts of that relax me. It just made me smile to remember that a few days back when I said I wanted a house in Makran, I was met with stares and I was asked why. Why? Why? Why? Because the sea is so blue over there and the sand is so pure and white. I have only seen that place on television. Then someone said I should get myself a house in the new place they're developing (as if I'd have the money). I want to enjoy the ocean from a hut on the beach, with a thatched roof made of palms! Or anything but let it be thatched. It would be even better if I made it with my own hands. Lol... I remember how I used to make nice little playhouses when I was a kid. I used to be an expert at that.

Dreaming, dreaming again. I guess it's all right when you know that at some point in your life you'd be able to afford what you dream. I don't think I dream of owning a sports car or a house in the 90210. They're more along the lines of living where I have the freedom of my soul. Not like Peshawar, where you soul starts reeking after a while and you start suffocating. The people, the atmosphere, the ambience of it all. It gets to my head in a bad way. I'm always wondering to myself, "what are you doing here?" At other time, I'd be wondering where my camera is or my sketchbook or my notebook so I could capture, draw or write my thoughts down. This place is full of pressures. Yet, to the outsider, it seems so dull and monotonous and laidback.

I do love it. I sure don't like the people very much. There's this shallowness about them. If they go to Lahore: We're impressed by Lahories!!! If they go to Karachi: Oh! Karachi people are so damn modern. Just why can't we be like them.

I wonder where someone from Peshawar holds an identity. So mundane. We want to imitate. Lahories are cool. Karichies (I made a new one!) are better. But I think we ought to have an identity of our own. What are we known for other than guns, burkas, chapli kebab or stuff like that? Do the artists here have any identity?

I once went with Shahgul to this sculptor's place back in 1999. He was living in squatting conditions. I kept asking Shahgul if we couldn't just hold an exhibition for this guy and she said it was impossible because people here really didn't appreciate what he was doing. There's my answer I guess. There's no appreciation. What with the ban on musicians now I think the last bit of mainstream culture would be wiped out. The other day on a private cable channel, I glimpsed the demise of the Pushto folk music. These people are killing whatever's left of an already non existant identity.

Khair, it's like beating your head against the wall. I'm here. One supressed person. I have the freedom to go to the university but I don't have the freedom to drive alone to it. I have the freedom to not wear a chaddar but I don't have the freedom to walk out alone. I don't care about these things but these are the freedoms for which I'm taunted because I'm a woman. It's all right here for women to dress up and dance and do stuff but if she wants to work or if she's an artist then God have mercy on her. I wish I had the freedom to picture the sea at sunsets and sunrises the way I picture them (for now only with my eyes) here. I want to feel that salty seabreeze. Why should it be only in my head? I wonder why. I want the freedom to float on water.

I do feel much better now.

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