Sometimes I wonder what exactly is my purpose in life. Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing here. Not here as in on this planet because I feel there are some questions that answer themselves. For those of us who can’t come up with our own conclusions then they should just accept the answer is 75 and move on. ‘Here’ referring to what I’m doing with my life. I have a Plan B (Engineering) and a Plan C (Journalism) and no Plan A. Because I figure you should love Plan A so much that when you talk about it, tears should axiomatically start flowing. Well, the primodial few times anyway. But that’s not it. Not articulate enough anyway. Plan A should be the something untypical, the something different, the something daring, the something that defines who I am. But who exactly am I anyway? How do I define the very person I percieve myself to be?
My motto for when I’m older. If it’s paradigmatic, then I don’t want it. Not the quintessential part time working woman (Oh, meri beti tou Engineer hai? Or journo maybe?) role, not the husband, the two kids or their car pool. Not the constant bickering and altercation, the compromises, the mid life crises (because yes, there is more than one) and the realization that eventually these people will leave you and all you have is yourself, and nothing, NOTHING else would matter at the end of the day, but then again who exactly are you? I’ve seen all of that. I’ve seen how people cling to it. To it’s order and routine, monotony and predictability.
But then what is it that I do I want?
Truth is, I don’t know. I could say ‘freedom’ and you’d laugh at me. I grew up compromising, oh well, I am the quintessential Pakistani beti, no matter how deep in denial I am. Staying quiet at the dinner table, biting my lip and being mindful of my family’s izzat. That sort of thing. But sometimes I say ‘freedom’ out loud just to test it out. To taste it really. I see typicality everyday. The gate-keeper and his salutes. The phone calls, that guy who worships Imran Khan like some God. Those poor ladies working their feet off at the beauty saloon. Dinner guests and their forced, polite conversation. I find it funny, when we’re all sitting at the table, to wonder about how much we all really abhor each other. But it’s not just dinner table conversation. I see it everywhere. Friend’s dreams and attitudes. (What are we talking about these days? Farewell parties and getting our hair done, of course.) Snide comments, the bitching and the looks we all sometimes get. Okay, so I get them a lot. Even the opinions of teachers, the behaviour of strangers. I have no idea. It’s not something I can define. I just know that I don’t want any of it. I don’t want to be typical and patterned now -and unfortunately sometimes I am and sometimes I need to be – and I certainly don’t want to be typical later.
I love phenomenal women. Women who defy convention. Audrey Hepburn, Vidya Balan, Baroness Blixen, Oprah, the Rani of Jhansi, Coco Chanel, my mother. It’s really that simple. I want to be one too. And it doesn’t matter whether I go for Plan A or Plan B or C if I realize that really, they were Plan A all along.
We’ve been put on this planet for a purpose. To be untypical, to understand what is wrong and what is right and realize how huge the grey areas really are, to perhaps try and right those wrongs and most importantly to do what we love. Once we understand that, all these mundane things like prom dates, shopping, bitching and infatuation seem minuscule in comparison.
After all, social suicide may just be a dramatic term and nothing else.