Catharsis

I remember some wise guy once saying:

The freedom of expression guards our other liberties.

Freedom: a word full of meaning and beauty, but foreign to our society! Whether it be the freedom of speech or thought; you name it, and we don’t have it. “Why is it that every beautiful and noble thing is non-existent in our society?” I always ask myself! Anyway, I am not here to answer this question (neither am I in a position to answer this question ;-)). In fact, I am here to relate the consequences of the ‘absence of freedom’.

Everybody would agree with me on the fact that a lack of proper communication has a catastrophic effect on mental health; and it is as necessary as food or air to express oneself. Freedom is the most important thing to make this happen. We could fully express ourselves only when we feel that we are free to say whatever we have in mind. If we place even a single barrier, the whole purpose of communication gets killed.

Before proceeding further, I would like to justify this statement: “Freedom is the most important thing to achieve the real purpose of communication”. Whenever something goes inside, ultimately, it has to come outside. We come across a variety of feelings here in PMC on daily basis, for example, getting humiliated by the teachers, getting depressed because of samosa getting more and more costly, being let down by the fact that we are single and so forth.

These feelings do make their way inside our head, but they never actually come out of it. Could we tell our teachers of what we really think of them? Could we do something about the cost of samosa? Could we tell our friend that we are jealous of him/her because we are single and he/she is not?! The fear of a supplee never allows us to express our real feelings to the teachers; authority of the Café guy stops us from arguing over samosa price; and our ego prevents us from confessing that we are tired of being single! This evident failure to let go of our actual emotions and feelings has led to some extremely disastrous consequences, one of them being (as put in my own words) “a frequent, abrupt and nasty leakage of repressed emotions through certain highly unpleasant channels”.

Everybody has some companions who are otherwise useless but are a good means of releasing frustration and anger. We talk to them and feel somewhat relieved. Some of that “garbage” might get disposed of in this way but much of it remains within us because the above mentioned and other similar reasons compel us to never open up fully to them. We never talk to them about actual matter, hence destroying the purpose of communication.

At this point, I would like to quote Arthur Schopenhauer:-

The conversation among ordinary people mostly consists in hackneyed commonplaces, which they alternately repeat to each other with the utmost complacency.

The conversations that take place among us poor PMCians consist of nothing but hackneyed commonplaces. By taking part in these conversations, any keen observer would readily sense a degree of frustration that has arisen as a result of suppression of the underlying emotion and at the same time would get amused. The charm of these conversations is that they do not just take place among us fellows; they take place almost everywhere in PMC, that is, notice boards, walls, benches and anything that could bear the weight of our delicate emotions!

Thing that makes these conversations so special is that they are a genuine reflection of our collective mindsets and represent our true selves. Take a look at the following ‘picture’:-

I am not a Paindu!

It says, “I am a PMCian and I am not a PAINDU”. It is evident that the people who wrote this are suffering from an inferiority complex because they came to PMC from their pind with a hope that PMC would be a different place (a Camelot, thus to speak). But, nevertheless, we should admire their benevolence because they left much of the chart empty for the others to share their sorrows too!

Now, take a good look at the following placards which give glad tidings of an oncoming ‘book-fair’:-

Book Fair 1

Book Fair 2

The one on top, at various places, contains references to Munni and Sheela. Book-fair, Munni, Sheela…do they seem related to each other? If you are a PMCian, your answer should be: “HELL YEAH!” At other places, it says: “Sir Najam ki pencil mere pas hai, mujh se rujoo karein (I have Sir Najam’s pencil, contact me)”, “uthtay janazay dekho (see the funerals)”, “harkat check kar lo (check that action) etc.

The second one has these inscriptions: “haye Ammi, bhaoo (oh Mom, BHAOO)”, “chal rehn de baba kam kar (leave it dude, go do your job)”, “dafa maaro yaar (let it be, yaar)”, “Molvi teri to… (Molvi, you are a…)”, “jaldi lagaao yaar (do it soon, yaar)”, “Islamic bhai mujhe cheap books buy krni hain (Islamic bhai, I want to buy cheap books)”, “bachna ae hasino, lo main aa gaya (brace yourselves broads, here I come)etc.

Sometimes, the notice boards get polluted with filthy politics. As politics is also a means of letting the ‘garbage’ stored inside come outside, we see many politicians in PMC. Remarkable thing is that you don’t have to belong to some party to be a politician!

The following pictures show ‘politically emotional outburst’ which took place when a party planned an event and some other parties opposed the plan (and probably the ‘planners’ too):-

Political poster 1

Political poster 2

Now, see the rebuttal:-

Political poster 3

It says: “JALLAN KI MAARI (name of the opposing party has been censored)”

Apart from the vulgarities, indecencies, and random trashy stuff; some creative work could also be seen sometimes. Take a look:-

What a great BONGI is this?!

It says: “The RING IS MINE! SAURON LIVES!!!

ARAGON LIVES

FRODO LIVES

–What a Great BONGI IZ This?!–

Now, I would like to end this article with an advice: It is the freedom of thought which is actually important. Real freedom comes when your soul is liberated from petty desires. Learn to communicate with yourself. A famous nazm of Faiz is crossing my mind…

Bol, ke lab aazad hain tere

Bol, zabaan ab tak teri hai

Tera sutwan jism hai tera

Bol, ke jaan ab tak teri hai

Bol, ke thora waqt bohat hai

Jism-o-zaban ki maut se pehle

Bol, ke sach zinda hai ab tak

Bol, jo kuch kehna hai kehle

(Speak, your lips are free

Speak, it is your own tongue

Speak, it is your own body

Speak, your life is still yours

Speak, this brief hour is long enough

Before the death of body and tongue:

Speak, ’cause the truth is not dead yet

Speak, speak, whatever you must speak)

Regards,

The Philosopher’s Stone

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Inside the Walls

Inside the Walls

I had originally decided to write a long post on the little trip I made with some friends to the Old City Lahore.  I had even managed to write four pages of a rough draft (I have a habit of writing on paper before I type it out).  But I decided to scratch the idea.  In fact, it wasn’t exactly a trip, because once we entered that intricate labyrinth of narrow allies and streets, that is old city Lahore, we didn’t know where we were going.  But, we kept on, turning from street into another…

…I guess this really is the whole allure of ‘exploring’, you don’t always know where you are going, or what you may come across.  But, also whatever you see, you find meaning in it…

An old building we saw, while finding our way through the slender streets:

After managing our way through a particularly narrow street, we suddenly found ourselves in much more open space, and realized we had finally found Masjid Wazir Khan:

 

Inside the Mosque:

 

 

 

In a bid to explore even more, since we had much time at hand…we decided to look for some other historical places.  It turns out, alongside Badshahi Masjid, and Masjid Wazir Khan, there are other mosques that are quite historic.  One of them being a certain ‘Saleh Kamboh Mosque’, which is mistakenly referred to as ‘Chinian Wali Masjid’ in many travel guides, which we later found out is yet another Mosque.

 

Outside Saleh Kamboh Mosque:

 

Probably the only thing I regret from the trip, is having missed the authentic Lahori breakfast, and that too in the very center of real Lahore, when I had the chance…I guess there’s always another time.